3 Steps To Take If Your Child Has A Severe Egg Allergy
An allergy can cause a variety of symptoms, such as hives, rashes, wheezing, a runny nose, sneezing, stomach pain, nausea, diarrhea, and even anaphylaxis. If your child experiences any of these symptoms after consuming eggs directly or dishes or baked goods made with eggs, he or she may be allergic to eggs. Take the following steps when your child has an egg allergy:
Visit an Allergist
Even when you're pretty sure that your child can tolerate eggs, it is important to see an allergist for an allergy test. An allergist typically uses a skin-prick test or a blood test to determine if a child is allergic to a specific thing. During a skin-prick test, a very small amount of a liquid containing egg protein will be placed on your child's skin and then the skin will be pricked with a needle to allow the liquid to enter the body. If your child is indeed allergic to eggs, he or she the skin will likely become raised and red within a short amount of time. A blood allergy test involves drawing a small amount of blood and sending it to a lab to see if there are antibodies present for egg protein.
Begin Reading Labels
When your child has an egg allergy, it is usually not enough to just stop making scrambled eggs for breakfast. Eggs are ingredients in many things, from baked goods to processed foods, sauces, and condiments. It will be very important to begin to look closely at the labels of food you purchase for your child to eat so you can determine whether or not eggs are an ingredient. It is a good idea to check labels every time you buy something-- recipes change often, and a product that used to be egg-free can begin to contain eggs at any time.
Keep an Epinephrine Auto-Injector Handy
While anaphylaxis is not one of the most common symptoms a child experiences when he or she has an egg allergy, it can be very dangerous and life threatening if it occurs. If your child's allergist determines that your child has a severe allergy to eggs, he or she may prescribe a epinephrine auto-injector, commonly called an epi pen. Make sure you fill the prescription promptly, and keep one at school or day care as well in case you child ever experiences extreme difficulty breathing after accidentally ingesting something made with eggs.
For more information, talk to a professional like Diane L. Ozog, MD, SC.